Where's the trick here?
Hi! Yesterday I stumbled upon this website:
It sells 'French' instruments at a 'cheap' price. I'd like to know if you've heard about them. I bet the instruments are not French, or are just finished in France, or are directly China-made. But I must recognize some of them look aesthetically good. Has anyone tried these instruments?
I'd like to start an informal (and informative) discussion on how can one recognize a good violin, and distinguish it from a mediocre one. And how can this be made through the internet, if possible at all.
There are many possible "tricks." For one thing, each country has its own rules about defining what exactly a product must be in order to be labelled as such.
Since I've been here which hasn't been very long, the same or similar discussions have surfaced. I began a few of them myself being relatively new at the instrument.
If you are seriously interested in learning to distinguish between the different styles of violins check out Maestronet. There there is a plethora of info and pictures to help you learn to do this and often daily discussions of what is this fiddle I have here.
"I'd like to start an informal (and informative) discussion on how can one recognize a good violin, and distinguish it from a mediocre one. And how can this be made through the internet, if possible at all."
Although I can't read the French version of their website, the English translation doesn't say anything I could find about where the instruments are made, but does say where the wood comes from (clue #1).
Palomavaleva also sells older violins for what look like reasonable prices.
Auction prices poorly reflect the retail market price of a violin.
I love this forum. I always end up learning new things. Thank you.
My Spanish violin was made in 1970 by Fernando Solar Gonzales - his #157.
Thank you. I’ll remember his name to see if someday I have the opportunity of playing or getting one of his instruments.
His shop was in Madrid (he is dead now) but I believe his son and daughter (or daughter-in-law) took it over according to what I read in the STRAD magazine, and began specializing in bows.
Hi Miguel, I'm Galician. Where in Spain do you live - area or region if you don't want to mention a particular town? I can ask my teacher if he knows about any reputable luthier nearby your location, if you don't have a teacher that can advise on this. There are at least two very good violin makers here in Galicia, José Catoira in A Coruña and Gonzalo Bayolo in Santiago.
The answer seems to be try the violins, according to the above posts. Though I am not sure what the question is? You ask about how to tell a good violin over the Internet. You could buy a Strad for Euro 1 million and hate it. It it is a real Strad, no one has cheated you. You could buy a violin from the website you link, and be happy with it, then discover it was made in China and not France, and feel cheated. Which is worse? The cheap violin which you like, and which is not what you thought it was, or the real Strad which you dislike, and which is genuine?
Miguel, here is a list of Spanish violin luthiers: